Transparency report #6 – Sept 2016

October 4, 2016| Mike Stott

It’s that time of the month again. My 6th transparency report. Wow half a year since I started to write these has passed. It’s gone so fast.

If you want to re-read the reports you can see them here.

But first, hey, the last post on the blog isn’t the last transparency report. Winner. I wrote all about how I updated the item pages and how to expose some of the WooCommerce figures on the front end (like adding the total WooCommerce sales number)

This month, I wanted to write about ghosts in the wires with respect to these transparency reports and also bring out an update following on from when I removed 9+ plugins for sale on CodeCanyon (and sold them directly from epic plugins instead).

Why ghosts in the wires? Well. This business has a lot of income streams and expenses. That means that these reports sometimes may paint massive growth, when in reality I spent a lot of marketing. Or I did a ton of freelance work. These are my ghosts in the wires.

I want to keep these reports focussed on plugin and theme sales. No scary freelance ghosts crowding the wires

Since I quit my job to focus full time on epic plugins, these reports would become massively skewed by any freelance work that I do during the month. So from now on I’m stripping out freelance from these numbers. Rather than go back and update the prior reports, I’ve done a quick table at the bottom of this post to show the 2016 figures since May excluding freelance (remember, this is all from my CRM – which is powered by Zero BS CRM).

[UPDATE: 1st Feb 2017. The Sales Dashboard in Zero BS CRM has been improved to have transaction tagging. This means I can filter transactions. The featured image shows the position allowing for full splitting]

Removing my plugins for sale on CodeCanyon

Do you remember my post where I went through 10+ reasons why I removed 9 plugins from CodeCanyon. In it I covered the benefits of using CodeCanyon. One of the risks was that I probably have ended up reducing my income by $500 a month (which is roughly what they were averaging on there). Here’s the update (for sales of plugins which were on CodeCanyon under the mikemayhem3030 account)

  • May 2016 – $377
  • Jun 2016 – $191
  • Jul 2016 – $116
  • Aug 2016 – $172
  • Sept 2016 – $229

So, sales are definitely lower than when they were on CodeCanyon, but they’ve not dried up completely. I made some changes to the products item pages in September (you can read the detail here). The increase may be from those changes, but all in all I’m relatively happy with where the plugins are sales wise. Especially without any paid marketing .

I have more plans for the store and direct sales in the coming months so keep an eye out for future transparency reports where I’ll touch on this subject again.

Plugin and Theme performance – September 2016

In last month’s report I wrote about taking a massive pay cut (August was the first month where I didn’t have my salaried income) and also seeing a c20% fall in revenue. The thing is, this was skewed slightly due to me including freelance work in the figures (which is lumpy, and something I can do more of or less of by choice).

What I want these reports to cover is general, “passive type” plugin and theme sales. So I’ve been back through the transactions (held in my CRM) and analysed them.  The direct plugin breakdown above is a subset of the figures below.

No charts this month, but below are the figures (stripping out freelance work) back to May 2016

  • May 2016 – $3,645
  • Jun 2016 – $3,644
  • Jul 2016 – $3,430
  • Aug 2016 – $2,286
  • Sep 2016 – $2,692

I’ve been building up the transaction reporting side of Zero BS CRM and by splitting out freelance and plugin/theme sales I’ve been able to analyse trends and pick out what any causes of dips may be.

Looking at the drop in August, this was partly down to selling a few less copies of the themes, but quite striking was the drop in sales of Social Buzz.

What changed? Well, Facebook changed their endpoints (renaming likes to share_count) or something similar which meant the plugin effectively stopped counting Facebook shares. This may have made the plugin look like it was broken. So it’s not surprising that sales were down.

This was fixed in v2.0 of Social Buzz and sales picked up slightly in September. If you’ve not seen Social Buzz it’s the funky little share graph at the top of the post. It’s a great plugin to prompt visitors to share your articles.

What’s next?

Like August, September had another good chunk of development time spent on Zero BS CRM. It’s becoming more and more useful every day. I sent out my first invoice from the system last week, with my web development agreement attached and specification included. It’s now held nicely in my CRM if I need to refer back (and not lost in my emails).

But, what’s happening with epic plugins and epic themes? Am I moving focus? In short. No way.

September I did a, quite frankly, absurd update to the WPeddit theme. In a nutshell this now gives you the ability to let your users customise their homepage based on the categories they subscribe to.

It also includes brand new tabs, such as your most controversial articles and which articles are trending. You can see the update here (click the how this theme works sticky post).


546 support tickets so far this year, up from 529. So support tickets on the forum have been down. I have however been getting a barrage of emails and handling via email. So if you’re not seeing your ticket picked up on the forum. Drop me an email via the contact us form and I’ll help. This is while we decide what to do with our support system in the long term.

Our team

“Our” team has nearly always been me. James has helped out with support tickets,

I’ve been looking to build up the team here at Epic Plugins and have been on the lookout for web developers with plugin or theme development experience. I’ve found a couple via If you’re of the developer nature and want to join the team let me know by dropping me an email. I’d love to hear from you.

Hopefully this has been insightful. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Categories: Transparency

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